There’s a sweet reason why Heath Ledger once turned down a job offer from Baz Luhrmann.
There’s a sweet reason why Heath Ledger once turned down a job offer from Baz Luhrmann. Supplied

Why Heath Ledger refused to work with Baz Luhrmann

PLENTY of actors would love to star in a lavish Baz Luhrmann production - but it's been revealed that Heath Ledger wasn't among them.

In a new interview for GQ Australia 's February issue, cover star Jake Gyllenhaal opened up about his friendship with the late star, which at one time caused Ledger to turn down a role in one of Luhrmann's movies.

Before they co-starred in Brokeback Mountain, Gyllenhaal and Ledger were both vying for the lead role in the Australian director's 2001 hit Moulin Rouge! - and were gutted when it eventually went to Ewan McGregor instead.

"We would be shuffled in and out of rooms. They would literally put me in a room and lock the door and Heath would come in and then Heath would be shuffled through the door. I never saw him," Gyllenhaal said of the audition process.

"When Ewan was cast, I finally met Heath and we sort of became friends before Brokeback Mountain, based on our mutual frustration.

"When Brokeback Mountain came out and it got all the attention it did, I remember, a few months later, Heath called me and he was like, [affects Ledger impersonation] 'Hey mate, I got some news for you.' I said, 'What?' He said, 'Baz just offered me his next movie. I just wanted you to know, I f***ing turned it down!' ... So that was how much Heath loved me, you know."

Ledger and Gyllenhaal became friends before they starred together in Brokeback Mountain.
Ledger and Gyllenhaal became friends before they starred together in Brokeback Mountain.

The GQ Australia February issue goes on sale on Monday, January 15.


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